Dissembling on North Korea, Trump makes a crisis of credibility

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump gets a briefing before he tours the pre-commissioned U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding facilities in Newport News, Virginia, U.S. on March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
U.S. President Donald Trump gets a briefing before he tours the pre-commissioned U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding facilities in Newport News, Virginia, U.S. on March 2, 2017.
JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters

A week ago, as tensions with North Korea reached dangerous levels, Donald Trump sat down for an interview in which he sent an important message to our adversary and the world.

Asked specifically about redirecting U.S. military forces towards the Korean peninsula, the president said, “I don’t want to talk about it. We are sending an armada, very powerful.”

As is often the case with Trump, the message was disjointed – he didn’t want to talk about what he was doing, except to tell everyone he was dispatching a Navy “armada” – but we nevertheless got the point. Indeed, the president wasn’t the only one making this message: Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer all said publicly, over the course of a few days, that the United States had dispatched an aircraft carrier and its support ships to head towards the Korean peninsula.

This was, the administration told the world, a show of force, intended to be a deterrent.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, 4/18/17, 9:00 PM ET

Trump foreign policy antics raise question, Stupid or nefarious?

Rachel Maddow looks at recent awkward behavior by the Trump administration and the difficulty foreign policy experts are having determining whether the administration is woefully incompetent or deliberate and calculating.

Share this post on social media

Leave a Reply